Twelve years after the US government passed similar legislation, European Union fishery officials are urging the European Parliament to approve a proposed ban on shark finning, a practice wherein fishermen remove conscious sharks’ fins before throwing the fishes back into the ocean to die. Shark fins, the primary ingredient in shark-fin soup, are a valuable international commodity due to the dish’s association with wealth and opulence. As a result, more than 70 million sharks are killed for their fins each year. The proposal, which would require all EU-registered boats across the globe to land sharks with their fins intact, is reportedly facing opposition from France and Spain, both of which are heavily involved with the shark-fin trade.
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